Woman wearing safety glasses and respirator



The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health brings together faculty and staff on the Berkeley, Davis, and San Francisco campuses of the University of California to:

  • Educate future leaders in occupational and environmental health
  • Develop new knowledge related to occupational and environmental health issues
  • Bring the resources of the University of California to people affected by health hazards in their workplaces or communities

These three core activities are grounded in a multi-campus, multidisciplinary approach to problem solving based upon teamwork and training in medicine, nursing, public health, and related fields.

The UC Davis COEH builds upon these core areas through research built upon strengths of UC Davis and with a uniquely clinical foundation, and translational activities that broaden the influence of the Center.




The Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) was established through Assembly Bill 3414, chapter 1245, section 50.8 of the Labor Code and approved on September 27, 1978. This legislation required the Department of Industrial Relations to develop a long range program in the area of occupational and environmental health and medicine to train personnel and conduct research. The primary function of the centers is the training of occupational physicians and nurses, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and industrial hygienists. Additionally, the centers are to serve as referral centers for occupational illness and engage in research on the causes, diagnosis, and prevention of occupational illness. 

In 1988, Dr. Marc Schenker became the director of the UC Davis COEH. The COEH was originally established as a Center under the direction of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. In 1995 Dr. Schenker was named Chair of the Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine, and the COEH was administered through the department organizational structure, and housed with the Center for Health and the Environment. The Medical Surveillance program was established within COEH to provide clinical occupational health services to the public. 


The UC Davis COEH provides graduate education in occupational and environmental epidemiology, occupational medicine, toxicology, agricultural engineering/ergonomics, clinical occupational health services for the public (Medical Surveillance), and research in occupational and environmental health.  At its inception, the COEH made a commitment to deliver university services directly to the public.  This is accomplished through a labor and community education program, a continuing professional education program and clinical services.